Monday, September 21, 2009
Tirol Cream Anmitsu Chocolate (Premium)
Anmitsu is a slightly complicated Japanese dessert with multiple components. The nutshell explanation is that it is cubes of clear, relatively flavorless jelly with sweetened beans (an), fruit, and a sweet, black syrup (mitsu). Given that the dish incorporates a lot of flavors and textures, making a tiny square of chocolate that brings the dessert to mind would seem to be tricky.
For those who don't know or have forgotten, I'll state again that Tirol Premium chocolates are about 1-inch square (2.54 cm) candies sold individually in convenience stores for between 30-50 yen each (between 30 cents and 50 cents). My husband bought this one and he said it was only 21 yen (about 20 cents) for some reason. The "premium" variety tends to be more complex than the smaller ones that come in variety packs and of higher quality, so expectations of this type of candy are a bit higher.
This chocolate has a milk base and a white dome with a little blob of jelly in the middle. There is a dark, sweet syrup on top of the jelly. Clearly, the texture of the gelatin in anmitsu is supposed to be conveyed by the gummy-like interior and the black sauce by the syrup. The scent is somewhat hard to pin down but there is definitely a fruit scent in there along with chocolate.
The first bite reminds me of a funky chocolate-covered cherry flavor. "Cherry sugar" is one of the ingredients and clearly is present to bring to mind the fruit in anmitsu. The jelly center is not tough, but also takes some effort to bite through and has a tendency to just pop out of the softish chocolate. This is quite sweet, but there is just the quietest whisper of a bitter note at the end.
I've never eaten proper anmitsu because the concept just doesn't appeal to me, but I liked this because it is very reminiscent of a chocolate covered cherry and I love those. That being said, this may not be for everyone. Though the cherry flavor is not strong (no cough syrup notes here), there is a bit of an intense flavor which is connected to the syrup and it's very sweet. I ate mine with some coffee and I think that helped not make it a sugary overload for me. I recommend it provisionally, and I'd buy one again if I were in the mood.
Tirol has added a desktop picture for this particular chocolate to its collection. If you'd like to download it, you can get it here.